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Garages: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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#61 daveholman


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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:35 PM

County / Country : Lancs, UK
Town : Bolton/Bury
Name : Wellington Garage
Services : MOT, repair work
Address : A58 between Bolton and Bury
Link to Map or website :
Rating: Good
Me and my dad have used these guys since about 1991 for MOT and repair work on a huge selection of cars from my '69 Alfa Guilia through to my dad's 2003 MG ZT, they've always been good. Really helpful, if you're car fails on somethings they'll ring you straight away and ask if you want them to do it. If you do they'll do it at a pretty good cost and if you want to do it yourself they'll give you 24 hours grace to get it done and back for retest for free. They're also realistic when dealing with classics. Not a mini specialist but seem to be good with all cars.

#62 Jammy


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Posted 05 September 2008 - 04:24 PM

If its not a review it doesn't stay in this topic.

#63 LilacLilly


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Posted 23 September 2008 - 08:53 AM

County / Country : Powys / Wales
Town : Machynlleth
Name : Old Station Yard Repairs (Merv Edwards)
Services : Everything!
Address : Old station yard, machynlleth, powys, SY208 (just before BP petrol station (soon to be Harry tuffins))
Telephone No: 01654702895 / 07815706945
Rating: Excellent
Testimony: Ex ford mechanic but the ford garage has now closed so he has started up on his own, We take our minis to him as he knows his way around them due to owning and racing his own minis. Great prices. Great set up of a mini. Highly reconmended.

Edited by LilacLilly, 23 September 2008 - 09:00 AM.

#64 mini_mission


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Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:45 PM

County / Country - Liskeard, Cornwall
Name : MPH motor panels
Services : panel beaters
Address : Station road, liskeard
Rating: UGLY!
Testimony: Very very very slow (well over a year), used heaps of filler, I never saw them work on my car- quick jobs had priorty, their spray painting is just terrible (a year on- car hasn't seen rain- garaged) already bubbling leads me to suspect poor priming and no rust proofing and cost over 4k. Their work on jags, astons are appeared top notch, but looked upon my mini as a piece of pooh. NOT IMPRESSED!

#65 Chris-G


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Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:14 AM

County / Country - Gloucestershire
Name : Maynard Motorsport
Services : Apparentley experienced rolling road tuners, auto grass preperation and some other bllocks
Address : Merrets Mills, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Rating: -0
Testimony: Words don't explain how bad! Just dont go there!

#66 Chris-G


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Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:18 AM

County / Country - Gloucestershire
Name : Turner Race Developments - www.tuner-race-developments.co.uk
Services : Race car prep, general servicing, suspension and brake set-ups, high performance engines, superchips agent.
Address : Stroud enterprise centre, lightpill, stroud, gloucestershire (along the a46)
Rating: Very very very good.
Testimony: Excellent work, put the car right. Very experienced in VAG cars. High standard of work everytime.

Edited by Chris-G, 15 December 2008 - 11:19 AM.

#67 sven_2k4


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Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:49 PM

County / Country : Cheshire
Town : Chester
Name : Peacock Garage
Services : MOT
Address : Peacock Garage, Christleton Road
Link to Map or website :
Rating: :)
Testimony: Took my otherhalfs mint 850 for an MOT ( local garage.... better than giving the work to a faceless dealer)..... MOT 'engineer's first words..... " oh god not another one of these, scrapped one already this morning".... the proceeded to hit the sills with a BALL PIEN hammer!!!! As and MOT tester myself I took umbridge at this and asked him to refrain from [email protected] my car, ended up telling him to stop the MOT and to park the car back outside.....needless to say i took it up with the owner and took the car elsewhere, where it passed with no advisories.

#68 alicetheauto


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Posted 17 December 2008 - 11:01 PM

County / Country :Loughborough, Leicestershire
Name : Central Motors- speak to Dave
Services : Insurance work, MOTs, welding, tyres, spanner-work
Address : 8 Fennel Street. Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1UQ
Link to Map or website :
Rating: AMAZING- really cant fault them.
Had an MOT on a 200quid rustbucket there today. They welded 4 holes in the arches and bootfloor, fitted 2 new tyres, clutch slave cylinder, wheel cylinder, carb clean and adjustment AND an MOT. Came to £320. I thought that was damned reasonable!!! The guy knows his stuff too- he has an Austin Healey 3000 and a Jenson Interceptor, but only charges £25/hour+vat for labour!

#69 cap'n crunch

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:16 PM

County : East Sussex
Town : Near Uckfield
Name : Classic cars of Kent & Sussex
Services : Rolling Road
Address : Rosehill Farm, Burntoak Road, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 4AE
Link to Map or website :
Rating: 1/10
Testimony: Took my mini for a tune up after fitting a stage 1 kit and cylinder head. They sanded down the needle which came with the carbs (twin HS2 of E-bay originally from a 1971 midget). Power Graph (bhp) hand written on to graph paper, recieved no torque graph or figure. As soon as i drove it on to the road backfired lots every time i accelerated. When i checked the plugs after 2 days they were bright white. Also when i checked the static timing with a strobe light it was set at 20 degrees advanced instead of 8 degrees.

#70 bcjames


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Posted 08 February 2009 - 08:04 PM

County / Country : Northamptonshire
Town : Northampton
Name : Northampton Motorsport
Services : Rolling Road/Engineering
Address : Rothersthorpe ave., Northampton
Link to Map or website : http://www.northampt...efault.asp?id=1
Testimony: They set up my mini on the rolling road. All the staff are experts in their area, generally with lots of motorsport experience. Also carry lots of spare parts for SU's and Webers.

County / Country : Cardiff
Town : Cathays, Cardiff
Name : Cardiff Autocare
Services : General garage
Address : Basil Place, CF24 4DD
Link to Map or website : N/A
Rating: POOR
Testimony: They stripped my engine and outsourced the head for skimming, followed by a mis-diagnosis of a cracked block. I had to get the car recovered from their garage to my house. Inspection by myself (back at my garage I had all my tools, hence it had to go to a garage at uni) found all four cylinders to be washed out completly. Looks like they had tried to set the timing up with a flushing oil in, not the usual 20/50. That mistake, plus the huge mis-diagnosis has really cost me money and put me off.

#71 ncd3


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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:22 AM

County / Country : Berkshire
Town : Wokingham
Name : CP Minis
Services : All things mini, appart from adavnced setup
Address : Wokingham, you'll have to search the web lol can't remember off the top of my head
Link to Map or website : none at the moment
Testimony: Great guys and friendly services. Had a number of things done including a couple of panels sprayed up and the quality of that was superb. Would highly recommend to anyone.

#72 minijawa


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Posted 12 June 2010 - 09:51 AM

County / Country: London
Town : Bexleyheath
Name :The Mini Centre
Services : All mechanical work, services, panel replacements, engine installations, tyres, new and second spares inc many rare stuff and cars for sale.
Address :Rear of 174 The Broadway, Bexleyheath, London, DA6 7BT (020 8303 1441)
Link to Map or website :
Testimony: I have been using the Mini Centre since the late 90s and have always had excellent service and great work carried out, from welding and MOT repairs to having 7.5 brakes fitted to one of my cars.
Alan the owner is a good chap, always up for a laugh and has a real passion for any mini as he owns a few himself which are in various states of restoration including a pickup and estate.
I would recommend them to anyone.

#73 skaterava


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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:50 AM

County: Hertfordshire
Town: Chorleywood
Name: DK Engineering
Services: Restoration, repairs, rolling road tuning, dealership. Specialise in Ferraris but cater to all classics.
Address: Little Green Street Farm, Green Street, Chenies, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire WD3 6EA, 01923 287 687
Rating: 9/10

Testimony: A very well recommended garage. A beautiful building complex full of amazingly rare cars on display, friendly and well spoken staff, with highly organised and learned mechanics. When i took my car for a rolling road tune they explained everything to me in layman's terms, even pointing out places that needed repair that i hadn't noticed, like my cracking fuel lines. For a place that usually caters to the very wealthy, they were surprisingly helpful, considering my car looked like near scrap compared to the amazing machines also getting tuned. The mechanic assigned to my car had called in sick on the day, and so i had to wait 45 minutes for another mechanic, but in return they gave me two hours worth of tuning for the price of one! :thumbsup: The only thing that would stop them getting 10/10 is only because restoration/repair work carried out there is very expensive. But because they're dealing with million pound classics and supercars all the time, it's obvious their quality of work and service is incredible. For a rolling road tune, it's highly recommended :thumbsup:

Edited by skaterava, 17 June 2010 - 11:51 AM.

#74 Trail of Dead

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 02:09 PM

County: Suffolk
Town: Mildenhall
Name: Cooper's Garage
Services: They pretty much offer everything for the Classic Mini as well as other cars except a Rolling Road/Dyno. Lots of great examples sitting in the shop.
Address: Mildenhall.....they are on the net. I didn't commit the addy to memory.
Rating: Well normally it would be high but read on.

I took Dexter down to Cooper's Garage initially to have an estimate done and hopefully have work started to build him up the way I imagined him. I had an appointment with the owner and when I showed up he wasn't there. Myself, my wife and our 4 year old Son waited there for nearly an hour! This was about six weeks ago so I don't remember the exact time of the appointment but I want to say 10:30AM. Finally roughly an hour later he showed up with a trailer load of old parts someone he knew was going to give him. So, we stood around waiting again for him to unload the trailer till we talked business. In my opinion....an appointment is an appointment and I was a customer.

Once we did finally get down to business it seemed like it was "doom and gloom" when we looked over my Mini together. Basically scared the crap out of me by telling me stuff that I knew was solid would need replaced. Before I knew it I was looking at a car that would need a new Passenger door jamb step, new scuttle ends, complete new front end, new half boot floor (which I already expected) and a few other bits. Shocking....this is a solid little car by everything I have seen on it. It had been completely restored in 2007 by another reputable garage.....the only thing that had started to rust majorly on it was the boot floor. I asked the owner during a casual conversation "Do you charge for the car sitting here?" (Remember, this was going to be a somewhat extensive build with both repairs/mods) his reply was "As long as it's not going to be sitting around for something crazy, like six months.....then no". My response was "No, nothing like that!"

Anyhow, that same day the family and I left to go to the base's "Mayfaire Bazaar". The whole time I could only think of the cost of all of this and how it may just be too much. I don't have the time/money to chase down rust on a Mini all the time. It'll be even harder once we move back to the states. I saw one of the new 2010 Mustang GTs on the base at the Exchange New Car Sales and LOVED IT. I talked to the salesman and decided it might just be due time to reconsider the Mini hobby. By the time we finished up at the bazaar and started home I decided to give it good think.

A few days later my decision was concrete. I was going to sell the Mini. I stopped down to Cooper's and saw the owner. I told him that the plans have changed and unfortunately for me....I was just going to sell. I still wanted the car to go through an MOT though so I left it there, I told him if he knew anyone that would be interested then he could sell it on in the meantime. That is all that was said. I didn't ask him to spend time with the car, I didn't ask him to actively "show" the car but that is what he did. I only expected he would slap a for sale sign on it and if anyone asked then he'd sell it. Instead, he wiped it down....put 6x10" aluminum wheels on it, jacked it up once for a prospective buyer and in all says he spent over 6 "man hours" dedicated to selling my Mini! Again, I didn't ask him to do this and he never told me he would. In fact the words out of his mouth were "I can put a sign on it". Remember he also previously told me it would be fine sitting there (his dedicated Mini shop is HUGE and nearly empty) as long as it wasn't 6 months. Keep in mind I'm a part of the US Air Force family and thought he might have been burned once before by someone that may have brought a car to him then deployed to the desert for 6 months or more. I thought he was referring to something such as this. If somebody tells you in ENGLISH "It is fine sitting here as long as its not going to be 6 months" then how can that be bad communication? It cannot, it is quite a literal description even IF spoken "casually".

About a week after telling him I wanted to sell it I got in contact with a good friend of mine. I asked him if he was interested in buying it. He said "Yes".....but that he wouldn't be able to do anything till he got back from the desert. So, I figured I'd just let the Mini stay where it was cause I was under the previous verbal agreement (these types of agreements are legally binding in many places you know!) and I figured it would have a "for sale" sign on it because he told me it would. I wanted it to remain "on the market" cause my friend was ok with the idea of it selling before he got home. There was no point in telling the owner of the garage I asked my friend if he wanted to buy it cause that information didn't matter. It was "first come first serve".

Moving on, I have been pretty busy around here since the Mini has been down to his garage (in fact it is still there scheduled to take it's MOT next week) so I sent him an email recently assuring him I haven't forgot about the car and have been busy around here (I had told him I would be busy the day we talked about the "storage") as we are preparing for a Government move into a new house. There is sensitive equipment that I have that I must pack and move on my own. If you don't prepare for one of these moves then you WILL get nice things broken....I have done these moves 3 times already. They (the movers) are ROUGH on your items. So, his email in response? Pay me for storage. I was quite confused per our initial agreement. Where did the monetary value come from? To me, it seemed like he saw an angle and took it. So I replied and tried to reconcile and make the situation pleasant. I hate petty squabbles.....they are so childish. He replied that my proposal sounded good. That night I stewed about the previous message. I wrote him back quite frankly expressing my confusion over the compensation he had requested. I was pretty angry. He responded rudely and called me "aggressive" because I used words like "Bummed", "Peeved" and "Confused". He sent me this email at nearly 2AM! So, I called him as it was quite lit up. I feel I handled the situation better even though I was wanting to reach through the phone. I could hear him huffing and puffing too so he must have felt wronged in some way. During the phone call I even offered numerous times to compensate him for the storage as my way of "extending an olive branch" he refused each time I mentioned it. He refused then proceeded to complain about the situation. So my whole point???

He told me he was joking when he said it would be fine sitting there as long as it wasn't six months or longer. How was I supposed to know that? I took him literally.....anyone would. So how am I at fault in his eyes? He is otherwise a very nice guy and he does do good work, I just feel that he hides things sometimes. During our phone conversation he slipped and said he was selling my car for 2000 quid. I was only asking 1800 so he was looking to make profit off MY car just because it was sitting in his garage even after he told me "no charge". Can you see the shadyness here? He replaced my wheels without my consent. He did extra stuff to sell it, I didn't ask him to. So how does this make ME the bad guy? Then he complained about it taking up space! Is he MAD! It's a Mini!!!!! It's the size of a golf cart. He has roughly 22 Minis in his "Mini Shop" and the shop is the size of a small airplane hangar......you could fit a Leer Jet in this thing.

So my point is be wary of strange dealings like this even with reputable shops. Everyone has an ugly side, my only question is why do they show it to me? :thumbsup:

Edited by Trail of Dead, 26 June 2010 - 02:27 PM.

#75 ncd3


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Posted 20 July 2010 - 03:01 PM

County / Country : Berkshire
Town : Wokingham
Name : CP Minis
Services : All things mini, appart from adavnced setup
Address : Wokingham, you'll have to search the web lol can't remember off the top of my head
Link to Map or website : none at the moment
Testimony: Great guys and friendly services. Had a number of things done including a couple of panels sprayed up and the quality of that was superb. Would highly recommend to anyone.


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